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1 August 2008 saw a major overhaul of CPCS, the UK’s largest plant competence scheme. Here the CPCS Management Committee explains what the big changes to the industry’s largest plant card scheme are, and how industry helped shape them.

After listening to various industry voices last year, the CPCS Management Committee sat down to discuss the suggested changes to the UK’s largest plant competence scheme. Over the course of six months we had received feedback from individuals and companies representing over 44,000 employees. We had mailed over 11,000 employers and consulted directly with federations and associations, and attended twenty-four industry and training road shows. In short, we had racked the brains of everyone that has a stake in CPCS. The feedback helped inform the changes to the scheme that came into effect in August. We had always wanted to see a plant competence scheme that worked well for industry. CPCS needed to be simpler, whilst maintaining the strong

standards that have defined the scheme since its launch in 2003. Now, since 1 August 2008, all operators must meet the new scheme rules which include some major changes that will impact upon demolition professionals

TECHNICAL TEST The new Technical Test is a new core element that will apply across all categories and routes of entry and will replace the Intermediate Certificate. The Technical Test includes; A CPCS Practical Test of operating ability and practical skills and A CPCS Theory Test of underpinning knowledge (which incorporate questions relating to underpinning knowledge, specific category and environment related H&S, and operators’ rights and responsibilities).

D & D Autumn 08

This will be supported by a training syllabus, against which training can be tailored to meet individual requirements through a variety of channels, including accredited CPCS trainers, in- house trainers, and colleagues. The S/NVQ will only need to be passed once for a family of categories (grouped into a unit), so if an individual has an NVQ in a 360 excavator below 5 tonnes, if they pass a further CPCS Technical Test on a 180 excavator below 5 tonnes they will automatically be awarded the full blue Competent Operator Card.


The renewal process has been updated to reflect the principles of independent assessment and lifelong learning. A CPCS Renewal Theory Test will need to be taken to support all blue cards renewals from 1 January 2009. The CPCS Renewal Theory Test will be a computer based multiple choice test. It will consist of a core test and “bolt-ons” for each family of categories delivered that a centre that can offer independent invigilation. From 1 January 2009, all Logbooks being presented as

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